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Concept Art Writing Prompt: The Horrors In The Ruins

This week, we have a very special animated Concept Art Writing Prompt, which combines a real New Jersey ruin with a pack of strange, gargantuan creatures. Can you spin a story inspired by this scene?


Artist Kevin Weir transforms photographs from the US Library of Congress into weird and sometimes frightening animated GIFs. You can check out all of his GIFs at his blog Flux Machine—as well as high-resolution versions of some particularly stunning ones over at Colossal.


Weir has kindly permitted us to use one of his GIFs for this week's writing prompt, and the animation is giving us the creeps. If this inspires you to write a story—spooky or otherwise—please post it in the comments.

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Michael Munro


THE insulated wire department of the plant of the John A. Roebling's Sons' Company, in Trenton, N. J., known as the Buckthorne plant, was destroyed by eldritch beasts on the evening of January 18. The loss was estimated at about $1,500,000, including the loss on finished product. About 300 workmen were in the buildings, on the night shift, when the beasts were sighted emerging from a vast, roiling pool of sulphurous ichor that had swallowed the neighboring home of respected Trenton socialite and occultist, Madame Marjorie Neeley.

The beasts, said to have been four in number, also rampaged across a part of the adjoining property, destroying fifteen houses, before plunging back into the pool, which remains a blight upon the neighborhood.

The buildings that the department occupied were constructed about thirteen years ago, on about eight acres of ground. One of the buildings was five stories in height. The management declared that the buildings were equipped with the latest modern occult disaster prevention apparatus; that the stairs were fireproof and lined from cellar to roof with lead and clinched tin; that self-closing doors were in position; that the elevators were protected; that standpipes, stakes, holy water hoses, astrological charts and garlic gas grenades had been provided.

The workmen were able to escape without injury, but were not able to use effectively the holy water, garlic and other defensive apparatus provided by the plant's management.

Investigations into the incident are continuing.


Madame Marjorie Neeley and her 12-year-old triplets, Janice, Elspeth and Enid, have not been seen since the evening of January 18th and are feared to have been devoured by the four beasts that destroyed the Buckthorne plant. Madame Neeley's sister, Beatrice, intends to hold a seance in order to ascertain their fate.